Trenton risks losing emergency radio service

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A semi-trailer truck and motorhome crashed in the northbound lanes between exits four and five of the New Jersey Turnpike at Mount Laurel around 3 a.m. Tuesday. One person was hospitalized while several others were injured. Everyone is expected to be well.

Imagine if all of this happened and first responders did not have emergency radio service? It could happen in Trenton if things don’t change soon.

“We have a few hundred thousand delays in our payments. And that’s why they’re shutting down our system on Oct. 31,” Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora said.

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It’s a tough midnight Halloween deadline and Mayor Gusciora says the city must pay its emergency service radio provider, MPS, by then, or lose service from the system installed in 2013. At his credit, Mercer County help financially, but it is not enough.

“Well, the county lets us use their airwaves for free. We just need to buy the equipment. But, until we can buy the equipment, they lend us 133 radios. This is just not enough for a police force of 260 people, plus fire, plus water and public works, ”said Mayor Gusciora.

Police and EMS respond to dozens of calls daily in Trenton, with radios in constant use. Mayor Gusciora wants to use $ 4 million of the US stimulus package to purchase and install a new system to the county airs, with no subscription fees. But Council Chair Kathy McBride did not allow the vote.

“It has to be put in place by her. And, for some unknown, politically related reason, she stopped it. It just doesn’t make sense what the chairman of the board is doing,” exclaimed the adviser. South Ward Municipal, retired officer and former mayor George Muschal. . “It’s suicide because I lived it for 40 years as a police officer.”

Muschal says it’s simple – the board needs to pay the bills, do some research, and move on to a new system. Emergency radio silence is too scary for Halloween. He said, put it to a vote.

“If it’s rejected, it’s rejected. If it’s rejected, so be it. But you’re playing Russian roulette with the police, the fire department and the 86,000 people of Trenton. Please. , stop doing what you are doing, ”added Muschal. .

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